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Tuesday, Jan. 2, 1968

Robert Vaughn, Johnnie Ray, Shari Lewis and the Sandpipers are

guests on The Hollywood Palace, hosted tonight by Phyllis Diller.

Tuesday, Jan. 9, 1968

It Takes a Thief, starring Robert Wagner as Alexander Mundy,

debonair international jewel thief coerced into working for U.S.

Intelligence, premieres on ABC. The last major 1960s spy show

also stars character actor Malachi Throne as “SIA” chief Noah Bain.

Wednesday, Jan. 10, 1968

The Avengers returns again on ABC. Third American season airs final

eight episodes of the Diana Rigg series followed by seven from the new Linda Thorson series.

Monday, Jan. 15, 1968

NBC airs Part II of “The Seven Wonders of the World Affair,” the last episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the series that kicked off the TV side of the spy craze and at its peak arguably was even more popular than James Bond. Astonishing plunge in popularity — from international phenomenon to ignominious mid-season cancellation — clearly indicates the spy craze is over. But the producers’ many shifts in tone and eventual pandering to camp, and the network’s yearly change of timeslot also were major factors in the show’s premature demise.

Monday, Jan. 15, 1968

Tentative air date for broadcast of “The Seven Wonders of the World Affair” as a two-hour special from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. — if NBC could arrange to pre-empt The Danny Thomas Hour at 9 p.m. and, of course, if U.N.C.L.E. had not been canceled.

Monday, Jan. 22, 1968

Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In premieres on NBC at 8 p.m., replacing The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Leo G. Carroll appears in the party scene as a bartender, first seen with his back to the audience. After Dick Martin delivers a rambling joke that ends with the punch line, “You might call me the man from uncle,” Carroll turns to the camera, pulls out a fountain pen and says, “Kuryakin, get over here right away, I think I’ve found Thrush headquarters at last.” Later in the show, Carroll becomes one of the first people to utter the phrase, “Sock it to me.”

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 1968

“Sol Madrid,” starring David McCallum, opens. Often listed as McCallum’s only spy genre entry outside of U.N.C.L.E., shot between the show’s third and fourth seasons and released less than a month after the series went off the air — but as a spy film, it’s really a stretch. McCallum is the improbably yclept Sol Madrid, undercover narcotics agent out to bust evil druglord Telly Savalas while dodging assassin Rip Torn, searching for Mafia turncoat Pat Hingle and rescuing moll Stella Stevens. Ricardo Montalban and Michael Ansara also appear.

Thursday, Feb. 22, 1968

“The Helicopter Spies,” seventh U.N.C.L.E. feature, opens in London at the Ritz. U.N.C.L.E. obviously has worn out its welcome in the U.K. as well — film plays for only two weeks, a record low for the U.N.C.L.E. movies. Made from “The Prince of Darkness Affair,” broadcast Oct. 2 and 9, 1967, on NBC.

Friday, March 22, 1968

“The Gurnius Affair,” last original episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. seen in Great Britain, airs on the BBC.

Saturday, April 6, 1968

In tonight’s episode of Get Smart, “The Reluctant Redhead,” the Chief assigns Max and 99 to recruit an innocent young writer named Mimsi Sage to pose as the estranged wife of a KAOS leader, prompting this exchange.

Chief: “We have information that Grubnik of KAOS knows about Miss Sage. He may be after her, too.”

Max: “Grubnik the Spoiler?”

99: “But I thought Grubnik was with Thrush.”

Max: “Yes, well, he was traded just before the deadline for a rookie killer and two minor league muggers.”

June 1968

Norman Felton begins production of Strange Report in London, mystery series co-produced by Felton’s Arena Productions and Lew Grade’s ITC.

Monday, June 10, 1968

The Champions, adventures of three international undercover agents with extrasensory mental powers, premieres on NBC at 8 p.m., returning an obviously U.N.C.L.E.-influenced series to the timeslot as a summer replacement for Laugh-In. Stuart Damon, William Gaunt and Alexandra Bastedo portray the trio, agents of Geneva-based, worldwide crime-fighting group Nemesis. Show runs as a summer replacement through Sept. 9, airing only 10 episodes of the 30 produced in Britain by ITC.

Wednesday, June 19, 1968

“The Thomas Crown Affair,” romantic caper starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, opens. Noel Harrison sings “The Windmills of Your Mind” over the main titles. The song becomes his most successful recording by far and wins an Oscar for composer Michel Legrand and lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman.

Thursday, July 11, 1968

“How to Steal the World,” eighth and last feature film made from two-part episodes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., opens in London. Created from the final episodes of the series, “The Seven Wonders of the World Affair,” seen Jan. 8 and 15, 1968, on NBC.

September 1968

U.N.C.L.E. begins airing in syndicated reruns on stations across the country. Syndication package includes only 99 of the 105 episodes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., but also includes all 29 episodes of The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. Longtime fans delight in finally seeing first-season episodes again. But as weeknight reruns unspool, viewers are dismayed by the dawning realization that any episode connected with the first three U.N.C.L.E. movies, the only films released in the United States, has been withheld from syndication. Even more puzzling is the absence of third-season episode “The Pieces of Fate Affair” that, unknown to most fans at the time, was involved in a legal dispute.

Friday, Oct. 11, 1968

David McCallum makes his Broadway debut in a comedy titled “The Flip Side,” co-starring Monica Evans (Cecily Pigeon in the stage, screen and TV versions of “The Odd Couple”) and Don Francks of Jericho. Widely panned show closes Oct. 12 after 11 previews and four performances.

Thursday, Oct. 17, 1968

“Bullitt,” Robert Vaughn’s first post-U.N.C.L.E. acting job, is released. Steve McQueen, Vaughn’s “Magnificent Seven” co-star, has the title role and Norman Fell, star of The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. pilot, also is in the cast.

Tuesday, Nov. 26, 1968

Noel Harrison guest stars in “A Case of Red Turnips” on

It Takes a Thief.

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